The COVID-19 pandemic has truly uprooted traditional teaching methods and schooling. With in-person education stalling in many cities across the country and education switching to web-based learning, the need for kids to have working laptops and reliable internet became more present than ever. While the digital age has made learning from home possible, it hasn’t been easy for every child. Many kids simply do not have access to working laptops and applications needed to successfully learn from home, and with the effects of the pandemic on parents, it’s been even more difficult to get deserving students the tools and means they need.
Evidence of the growing digital divide became even more clear when Matthew Blades from Mix 96.9, a local morning radio show host in Arizona, put out a statement on the air asking what teachers needed most during this trying time. Over a span of thirty-six hours, teachers responded and asked and applied for over 11,000 devices for kids. It was clear that laptops were needed.
Kevin Snyder of Direct Carpet One Floor & Home based out of Tempe, Arizona, knew he wanted to help and stepped up in a big way. Teaming up with Mathew Blades, he offered five valley locations for refurbished laptops to be dropped off between November 2, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Matthew Blades’ team then worked with his tech team to try and salvage as many as possible.
In the first two weeks of the mission, over $15,000 worth of laptops were contributed to deserving but underserved students in the area. Since then, more than 325 families have been positively impacted by the response. Mesa and Marana are just a couple of the communities that have been a part of the mission, as well as Premier High School and Wigwam Elementary.
The mission to get students the means they need to be successful in online learning is an ongoing effort led by Mathew Blades and the Title 1 Tech organization. To find out more information or contribute to this cause, visit https://mdtproject.org/
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